April 22, 2020: 50 Years of Earth Day

This morning I rose so early that not a living thing
was awake. Smokestacks, lungs, crows, bulldozers—
all were silent and still.

I asked the earth for forgiveness, but she was silent.
She could not fathom what I’d done to her or for her;
What does she know of my carbon footprint?

I don’t deserve pandemics, dictators, drought.
She was silent and still;
What can she say of my guilt and aspirations?

Life began to stir. Blood circulated, tree rings grew,
chainsaws cawed like starving crows.
I made my perennial promise—nothing will be the same.

Nothing is ever the same, of course: Look away
long enough and earth becomes unrecognizable,
and then it’s nighttime and our lungs fill with hope again.

Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. He has had his poetry published in several journals, including Burningword Literary Journal (which nominated his poem 'The Machinery of the State' for the Pushcart Poetry Prize), Noble/Gas Quarterly, and The Esthetic Apostle. He can be reached at justice24@protonmail.com Read other articles by Andy.